Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

I was going to write about spam (the e-mail kind) but since I couldn’t bring myself to put out my own money for a can of the stuff (the pseudo-food kind) to photograph, I went to the Hormel Spam(R) Web site to grab a picture and got sidetracked. You’re greeted with the Spam song (no, I’m not joking) and if you wait about 30 seconds, there’s animation. In fact there’s a lot of animation on the site and a veritable treasure trove of links. I decided against consulting “What is Spam?” It used to show up on the lunch menu when I was in elementary school (usually as rubbery pink slices but sometimes in fritters), and I’d as soon not know what, along with a week’s worth of sodium, they were inflicting on hapless children.

There is a whole Spam subculture, much of it tongue-in-cheek, but not all, I suspect. There’s a Spam Museum (admission free), a Spam Fan Club, and a Spammobile that tours the country giving out free samples. There are Spam festivals, most notably the annual Austin, Texas Spamarama, which has been going on since 1978. And of course there’s a Spam store with a huge variety of items with which you can show your allegiance to the product. A Spam pig clock or timer for the kitchen, pillows (think how nice they’d look on your couch), a mouse pad, a collector’s spoon, a Spam emery board, Spam wine glasses for the truly elegant table setting, a Spam three-legged pig (don’t ask). The link to the Adult category didn’t work, which is probably just as well, since the thought of a Spam G-string and pasties is not enticing. It was hard to choose, but my favorites were the glow-in-the dark Spam stadium cup, scrunchy, and boxer shorts. I always figured that the chemicals in Spam made you glow in the dark, and now you can accessorize to match.

The surprise for me is that Spam doesn’t stop at the pink rubber I was forced to eat at school, now known as Spam Classic. There are 11 other varieties, including Spam Garlic, for the more sophisticated palate; Spam Low Sodium and Spam Lite, for those concerned with healthy eating; and Spam spread (remember that one for your next cocktail party).

There’s obviously more to Spam than Monty Python skits. I’m not tempted to give it another try, though. I’m a vegetarian.

7 Responses to Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

  1. Kirk says:

    Passante, you have opened my eyes. Spam is art.

  2. passante says:

    Spam as art? Well, as long as we’re in that mode, I remembered reading about the Chicago Spam Sculpting Festival several years ago. Other cities have them too. Type “ice carving” into your search engine and you’ll come up with stuff that takes your breath away. Type “Spam carving” and you get a bunch of hits but on the whole, the pictures take your appetite, rather than your breath, away. Hunks of ice are bigger than hunks of Spam, so you can do more with them. Just as well, if you ask me. I think ice hotels are (pun totally intended) cool, not that I’d want to stay in one, but the idea of a Spam hotel … well, let’s not pursue that line of thought.

  3. Kirk says:

    Passante, I just checked Spam carving. You are right. Breath? Appetite? GONE. GONE. Which leads me to conclude that the only true Spam art must be subtle, must respect the medium. Surely no self-respecting artist would consider working in anything but the slice or cube.

  4. i couldn’t read this is full for thinking of batter & spam & school dinners & going home hungry!

  5. Elisabeth says:

    Great post! I especially enjoyed the Monty Python skit!

  6. mandy says:

    I’m not a vegetarian, but no way would I touch spam let alone eat it.

  7. Michael says:

    I came over from Elisabeth’s blog and realised I hadn’t seen you on PDP in a long time. Then I noticed PDP isn’t on your list of “Blogs I read”. Where are you? What have you been up to?

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